Washington, D.C. - Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has set aside almost $100 million in a Senate budget bill for national defense projects based in Nevada. The money will go toward operating expenses at Nevada military bases, research projects at state universities, and grants to private companies developing high-tech defense systems in Nevada.
“This money will help keep our country safe, and help our troops respond to any threat quickly and efficiently,” said Reid. “Nevada has always led the way in defending America, and this funding will help continue that proud tradition.”
Reid, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, set aside the funding in the FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill. The measure passed the committee today, and is expected to pass the full Senate by the end of next week.
The funding includes $7.6 million for Hawthorne Army Depot. Earlier this year, the Pentagon had recommended shutting down the base altogether. Reid fought to convince the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission that the recommendation was based on faulty data and the facility should be protected. The Commission ultimately agreed.
Reid also won funding for high-tech research at the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the Desert Research Institute. The projects will help get blood transfusions to wounded troops faster, help troops train for desert warfare in safe, simulated environments, and help detect biological warfare agents before they can spread.
A partial list of the projects is below:
Hawthorne Army Depot $7.6 million
Nellis Air Force Base $14.5 million
Nevada National Guard $7.5 million
UNR School of Medicine $3 million
For High Speed Blood Transfusion Equipment that will allow wounded troops to get blood transfusions in the field, before they reach a hospital
UNLV $2 million
For Lightweight Blast Containment Vessel Development that will allow emergency workers to cover bombs or terrorist devices and prevent damage from explosions
UNLV $1.8 million
For Nanotechnology for Detection of Biological Agents
Desert Research Institute $4 million
For the CAVE Automated Virtual Environment that will let troops train for realistic warfare situations in a simulator
Desert Research Institute $3 million
For Desert Terrain Analysis that will help the military maneuver personnel and equipment through desert terrain more safely
Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks $8 million
For a Helicopter Autonomous Landing System (HALS) that will help helicopter pilots land safely in desert sandstorms or other low-visibility situations
Rocky Research of Boulder City $8 million
For Thermal Management Systems for High Density Electronics, to help keep equipment cool enough to operate in desert conditions
Sierra Nevada Corporation of Reno $5 million
For Scathe View Communications Upgrade Program, an infra-red detection system that can be used to detect small amounts of heat from a distance. The system was used to help find stranded people in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and has also been used to find smoldering wildfires before they erupt